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Here's What You May Have Missed-May Career Services

Monday, May 15, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Alysa Craig
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On Tuesday, May 9, over 50 attendees turned out for a Career Services event that featured a distinguished panel of CEO’s from Life Sciences, Venture Capital, Manufacturing and Business Services. The panel was moderated by Phil Hoberton, long-time FEI member and facilitator of CEO/CFO peer groups through his involvement as a Chair with Vistage International. The panel consisted of:

  • Jerry Bird – President MassVentures and Experienced Board Member and Investor.
  • Tom Durkin – Managing Partner Gesmer Updegrove, LLP
  • Doug Elder – President / CEO Automation Engineering, Inc
  • James Lundrigan – President Electronic Environments Inc.
  • Lisa Joan McKerracher, PhD – Founder & CEO - BioAxone BioSciences

With great insight and a good measure of humor, the panel described and discussed the qualities that CEO’s consider essential for someone to be an excellent CFO. The panelists brought different industry experiences to the discussion but their perspectives on the topic were strikingly similar.  

While all agreed there are many skills needed to be a successful CFO, the panel focused on following areas:

 

Technical – an obvious necessary competency. Whether reporting historical results or modeling projection scenarios, accurate and reliable data is essential for establishing credibility and building trust among stakeholders. Further, providing accurate and actionable data can often help resolve conflicts between top down goals and bottom up reality.

 

Communication – The CFO needs to be able to distill large volumes of information into the essential components for colleagues, board members and capital providers. This ability to summarize and focus on the critical aspects of the organization’s finances is essential to enhancing that credibility and trust. The CFO needs to understand all of the details but at the same time be able to explain the business to stakeholders at a high level.

 

Business Partner – The CFO must be able to effectively support the other C-level executives as well as the CEO. In this role the CFO must act as a resource, providing insight on key performance metrics, challenging assumptions when appropriate, advocating when appropriate. The CFO should be willing to take risk but also have the strength and confidence to “push back” when necessary. The CFO should be an active listener, should not try to win every argument but should not lose the “important” ones.

 


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